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Thursday, 22 March 2018

Of Bluebirds and Gardens

Of bluebirds and gardens!

Springs here! Had 6 mountain bluebirds in the yard today! That's a first for us and I believe it is fairly early for them to be around this area.

And speaking of spring, gardening season is not that far away. With our short season, it's time to start thinking of planting tomatoes and maybe a bunch of flowers. Check your seed packages. Most of them will tell you how many weeks before the last frost to start seeds. Usually we can count on the May 2-4 weekend as the last frost date in this area.

The last couple of years I've gotten a little lazy and started my seeds in jiffy pellets. Always have good results with them but they are a little bit more money than starting in a bulk planting mix. Speaking of planting mix, Costco appears to have the cheapest at just over 10 bucks for Miracle grow. Check bags sizes as there is a lot of different sizes on the market now.
My tomatoes have been in pellets for about two weeks and last week I potted them up in 6" pots. They should be able to go into the green house by the end of April so maybe one more transplant.

Planted some onions and garlic in the greenhouse along with some salad greens last week. Nothing up yet but the nights are still a bit cold even in the greenhouse. No auxiliary heat so they have to do the best they can.
I have some old bathtubs in the greenhouse that I converted to self watering beds that I am quite happy with. I only have to water about once a week even with mature plants and summer heat. This goes a long way to reduce stress on the plants if I need to be away for a few days.

Wishing you all a good gardening season and an early spring.

Need to have an early spring because there is a few septic systems to finish from last year and a bunch of test pits to dig for site evaluations for new systems for this year😀

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Village and Hamlet Growth
This article is a continuation of a previous article on maintaining sustainable growth in rural counties. The premise is that if we can increase the number of kids in the county, the county will sustain itself. In this article we will discuss the pros and cons of expanding existing villages and hamlets in an attempt to entice families to move to these small urban centers. We will also look at some of the issues we would face when trying to expand these small urban centers.

If we want to increase the size of existing hamlets or villages in order to increase the number of families in the county, we need to examine what the obstacles to doing this may be. We should also consider why hamlets may not be attractive to young families or why they may not succeed regardless of the effort put into promoting them. The idea that existing hamlets are natural growth nodes may not be correct.

In order to attract families to hamlets, we must meet several conditions.

            The lots and houses must be more affordable than those in towns and cities that have more amenities or they must offer something that the bigger urban centers cannot. Sometimes, this is just a larger lot or the pleasure of small town living.

            There must be a method of earning a living either locally or within commuting distance.

And there will be a number of items that help persuade the family to move to this particular village.

            Proximity to schools that meet the requirement of the kids.
            Proximity to family or friends.
            Proximity to churches or other social infrastructure.
            Proximity to sports facilities that meet the goals of the kids. (Or the goals parents have for their kids)
            Proximity to amenities such as groceries, drug stores and eateries.

We need to ask ourselves, why would anyone want to live here rather than in a bigger town or actually out in the country. One or more of the above will be required to make the move attractive to the family. People do not just up and move to a hamlet or village.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

How can we make Counties and rural areas more sustainable?

Toward a more sustainable County

As the years move along, almost every rural municipality is faced with the problem of how to sustain their social infrastructures. These include schools, churches and sports facilities.
They also include social support people, like medical professionals, and social interactions, like 4H clubs and recreational sports teams.

Every year more schools are shutting down or consolidating into regional schools. Kids need to be bussed for greater distances.
Villages lose their grocery stores and gas stations. Everyone has to go to the “Big
City” to get supplies.

Can we stop and reverse this trend?
What can we do about to prevent the depopulation of our rural counties?

First, we need to look at what is causing this attrition to happen. Simply put, the cause is a lack of kids living in the country. We no long have a critical mass of kids in many of our rural communities. If you increase the number of kids in any geographical region,